If one looks at any successful organization, it seems to me that one quality stands between it and its less prosperous competitors: focus. I will illustrate this with two Jewish examples.
The Jewish example is Chabad Lubavitch. Think about it for a moment. Fifty years ago they were a small Chasidic clan. Their rebbes had, over the centuries, produced a couple of influential books, but overall they were nowhere in the league of Ger or Belz, for example. Today, while still not the most numerous clan in the Chasidic world, they are a multi-billion dollar organization easily the best known Chasidic clan and the most influential. What happened to change their status?
The answer is simple: they had a leader, the Rebbe, z"l, who took the movement and focused it on a singular goal. His dream was to bring Moshiach to the world through the dissemination of Chabad philosophy and the ultimate takeover of world Torah Jewry. He spent decades building a "brand", convincing countless Jewish communities and organizations that his version of Judaism was the authentic one, that his interpretations of Torah and the future history of the world were the authoritative ones, and he raised an army over two generations of shlichim who were brainwashed into believing in this goal and working towards it with all their power.
Now, take a step back and look at what this philosophy has morphed into today. Grown men who believe the world is flat, because the Rebbe said so, who believe the Rebbe himself is still alive and up in Heaven guiding world events and just waiting to come back as Moshiach. Their beliefs defy Jewish law, they defy physical reality, and they continuously triumph over their ideological opponents. Why? Because they keep their eye on the ball. They have a goal and no side interference is going to prevent them from moving towards it.
As a result, their opponents flail at the wind and they keep going from strength to strength.
The second example is the Agudat Yisrael, as exemplified by their premiere PR hack, Rav Avi Shafran. Like him or hate him, you have to admire the guy's stamina. No matter what's happening in the outside world, Rav Shafran continues week after week to create the illusion he is seeking to foist on others. His goal? To convince the world that the Chareidi community is the ultimate expression of Judaism, that it is the only legitimate form of Torah observance and that it can trace itself back to Har Sinai itself. He further wishes us to believe there is no spousal abuse in the Jewish community, no drug use, no pedophilia in their Yeshivos and that the Rubashkins are decent folks who ran an upright slaughterhouse. It doesn't matter that the truth is against all these beliefs. He has his eye on the ball too, and he doesn't let detractors get in his way. With only one exception, he never backtracks or corrects what he says, and he never, ever enters into arguments with his opponents for fear that his agreeing to hear their side might imply that the other side has a legitimacy he does not wish to provide it with. Like I said, you might like him or hate him, but you can't ignore him and his success.
Which brings me to this blog.
(No, I'm not about to crown myself as the Shvantzer Rebbe or engage in a takeover of the Jewish world.)
When I originally started blogging, I had two goals for this forum. One was to share my personal philosophy regarding Jewish matters, share divrei Torah I'd come up with, etc. The other was to comment on news events in Israel and the Jewish world.
Unfortunately over the last few months I've become distracted. I have allowed myself to be diverted into areas I really don't care to be in and enter into arguments I really have no interest in fighting. I have attempted to support blogs of people I disagree with in order to help them build a hit count only to be labelled with the most foul terms or be called a terrible person for challenging their ill-thought opinions. And I've decided that enough is enough with that.
I am going to work on bringing the original focus back to this blog. I'm posting to share my thoughts with people and engage in respectful discussion. If you don't like the content you see, it's a free blogsphere, go elsewhere. If you disagree and want to discuss it, by all means do so. Hopefully with this new focus, and by keeping my eye on the ball, I can return this blog to where it's supposed to be.